The Market Report with Katie Pilbeam. FTSE 100 slumped as the battle between hedge funds and retail traders using the Reddit sub-domain Wallstreetbets raged on. London’s blue chip index dropped 58 to 6,467.
The Robinhood brokerage platform, which is at the heart of the battle, meanwhile has raised US$1bn to shore up its financial position and pay traders betting on Gamestop. The app tried to shut down trading in a host of stocks yesterday to cool the frenzy, but to little effect.
Novovax’s new coronavirus vaccine was 89.3% effective in large-scale trials. Importantly, the vaccine was effective against the new UK variant of the virus though how it handled the South Africa mutation is less clear.
Just days after it snapped up Debenhams, Boohoo is in talks to buy the Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton brands from failed retail group Arcadia. Rival online fashion chain Asos is the frontrunner to buy the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT parts of Philip Green’s fallen empire.
Munchers of Cadbury’s chocolate might be getting a bonus after EU officials launched a price-fixing investigation probe into its owner Mondelez. The EU will check if trade was restricted between member countries, pushing up prices.
Among the small caps, Catenae Innovation (LON:CTEA) will provide the data management platform for a pilot COVID-19 testing programme. An unnamed Fortune 500 US professional services and construction company will carry out the test.
Freight management firm Xpediator (LON:XPD) expects profits for 2020 to be significantly ahead of market expectations. November and December benefitted from a Brexit bounce and especially high volumes in the toy sector.
Similarly, Bloomsbury Publishing (LON:BMY) has upgraded guidance for the year ending in February. The Harry Potter publisher has enjoyed strong trading in the Consumer division, for both Adult and Children's publishing.